I was recently doing some research for one of the forums I belong to and came across a series of pictures from the LIFE MAGAZINE photo archive that were labeled "NAVAJO BROTHERHOOD CARAVAN" and showed trucks from the NAVAJO truck lines delivering food and goods to the Navajo Indians of New Mexico.
The pictures were taken in 1947 and sparked my interest since I had spent part of a summer back in 66 in Ganado, Arizona in a Navajo Mission.
An internet inquiry into this event, which was also called "The Mile of Trucks" produced only two "hits". The first was actually a mention of this incident coming from a UFO magazine ---
Food for Navajos
The event was in December of
1947 and was called the “Navajo Brotherhood Caravan”
(or the “mile of trucks”) and
ran supplies from Albuquerque to Gallup,
NM. (roughly 90 miles south of Shiprock)
where the Indians took possession of
the supplies. The Navajos were having a
tough time of it and people throughout
the state were helping out.
The second "hit" came from an article that appeared in TIME MAGAZINE ----
Monday, Dec. 22, 1947
"Shocked at the discovery that the Navajo Indians face starvation and even death this winter (TIME, Nov. 3), the nation suddenly began sending them relief. The American Red Cross appropriated $100,000 for "immediate stopgap aid," rushed disaster relief workers to the barren Navajo country. A Navajo Trail Relief Caravan Association gathered up food and clothing in California, started seven truckloads on the way to the reservation. Utah citizens helped too. Congress, conscience-stricken after neglectful years, voted a $2,000,000 relief fund for the Navajo and Hopi tribes."
I think this is an important piece, and unfortunately a forgotten piece of trucking history. It must have produced a great deal of pride for the NAVAJO truck line as it gave back to its' namesake, the NAVAJO nation.
What I can't believe, is the lack of further information about this event -- so that is where you, the reader, come in. If you have any stories about this or know more of the story, PLEASE share it by comment or email me!!!
In the meantime -- enjoy the pictures, courtesy of the LIFE archive --
NAVAJO RELIEF CARAVAN LEAVING PALM SPRINGS CALIFORNIA
THE MILE OF TRUCKS